Dermatology involves the medical care of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes and is often treated by a dermatologist. However, it is becoming more common for the primary care physical to treat many dermatological issues. Additionally, it is becoming more commonplace for larger family care practices to have a demotologist on staff.
Because skin is the largest organ of the body, it’s the part of the body that makes direct contact with the environment. It’s not unexpected that there are thousands of diseases and conditions that can affect the skin.
Common Dermatology Issues
Mole and Skin Tag Removal – These are two of the most common issues that cause people go to a Dermatologist. They are normally a minor issue that is causing the patient discomfort, and equally a normally minor issue to correct. In many cases your General Practitioner should be asked if they can assist with this. Many Practices now offer these services to assist their patients, with a shorter and more convenient timeframe.
Cyst Removal – A sebaceous cyst occurs when a pour becomes blocked, infected and develops a core or sack. When this occurs it often requires a doctor to evacuate or lance the area to remove the sac and stop the cyst from re-forming. Where many times people try to handle this on their own before seeking medical attention, it’s always best to consult your doctor to minimize scarring and causing additional complications.
Identifying Suspicious Lesions – Skin cancer, for example, usually starts as a fairly innocuous mark on the skin, and it usually goes unnoticed for a while. By the time it produces significant symptoms, it may have begun spreading. During examination, your doctor will know what to look for, and may wish to order a test called a biopsy. As many skin cancers can be treated if caught early, this level of vigilance is valuable.
Help with Younger Patients – Many conditions are prevalent in younger patients, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne. And just like a dermatologist, a General Practitioner can work with the patient to find the best course of treatment. Some of these skin issues can be stress and hormone-related, and the GP can also identify those factors and work on that part of the issue as well.
Treat Rare Skin-related Disorders – Some skin diseases are rare, but can be debilitating. Autoimmune disorders, like lupus pemphigus, are some examples of rare and difficult to treat diseases. But while they are difficult to treat, a Primary Care Physician offers the best insight into chronic disease management.
Offer Cosmetic Treatment Options – While there are some dermatology related issues a Primary Care Physician may find that it’s better to refer to a dermatologist, your doctor who manages your care is the best person to make that determination.
There are many benefits to using your family doctor or checking with him to see if he has a dermatologist on staff. Besides the obvious fact that they know your medical history and understand all aspects of your care, there is a definite convenience factor to consulting with your GP first. Demonologists in particular seem to have lengthy lead times or don’t take new patients. By checking with your GP first you may find that there is a lesser wait to get the appointment and there may be financial benefits, depending on your insurance. The in-house ability to service this need is a definite win for patients.